Monday, October 17, 2011

Real-time traffic in Laurel

Zoom and Pan within the map.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Doing Parking Islands the right way

Laurel has a lot - a LOT! - of surface parking.  These lots collect stormwater (and motor oil and antifreeze and debris) and send them directly into the nearby Patuxent river, and eventually into the Chesapeake. While treating all this stormwater prior to it reaching the river is expensive, there is a ubiquitous tool that can treat some of it :  the humble parking island.
Old style parking islands 
But instead of making them like the one above, for the same amount of money, they can be made like these:
"Green" parking islands
Capturing & treating run-off before it enters storm water inlets (photo credits: Lisa Zimmerman)
These parking islands are slowly becoming more common. They capture filter run-off from moderate storms. The only main difference between these "green" islands and traditional ones is 1) the use of rocks to slow down and capture water flow; 2) the types of plants that go in the island.

With a new Walgreens coming to town, and a new (reconfigured) parking lot,  the City presently has the opportunity to try and start "greening" some its parking lots.